The Importance of Social Learning

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The role of trainers and instructional designers has been changing for some time now. There are many factors that should make L&D professionals re-think their approach to how training programs and departments operate. However, the most prevalent factor is the need to do more with less more quickly. 

When you combine smaller staffs and decreasing budgets with the explosion of rapidly changing information, it is clear to see how even the most rapid training development processes can be too slow and insufficient. Fortunately, there are a wide range of social tools and technologies that you can leverage to support and enhance your traditional learning technologies. To provide relevant and valuable training solutions to our organizations, we need to search for the most efficient tools to improve performance. 

L&D professionals shouldn’t be intimidated by new social tools. The process for employing them is no different than the process for deploying a course. You still need to do the same analysis and design steps. 

The only difference is that these types of social tools give you a wider selection of options that can be more efficient and effective than the traditional courses and static job aids. In short, using these new approaches can help you and your organization get better results while doing less training. 

The Social Media for Learning Certificate program is a good starting point for anyone who is looking for new ways to support learning and performance in an organization. The introduction to social media tools and new, creative ways to use them provides a solid foundation to build upon as you evaluate and select these tools as solutions to the challenges you and your organization are facing. 


Another great thing about this program is that it goes beyond simply introducing the tools; it covers important topics, such as how to effectively use social media tools for learning, engagement strategies, and considerations related to the challenges, opportunities, and other factors that make or break organizational initiatives. 

Even if you’ve never thought about using these types of social tools, the Social Media for Learning Certificate program will give you real-life, easy to implement examples that can be applied in virtually any environment. Each approach is explored for use in several different learning contexts, including intra-organizational, formal, group, and personal directed learning. 

And you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone better than Jane Bozarth and Shannon Tipton to guide you through mastering these increasingly important social media approaches to learning and development. They are knowledgeable instructors, who practice what they preach and share their real-world experiences to help make you successful. 

Done well, social media tools can not only make your existing programs better, they can also extend them to leverage more of the untapped expertise you have within your organization and beyond. After all, social learning is not a new idea. People have been learning from each other for as long as people have existed. Now, we just have the ability to learn so much more from so many more people. 

So, if you are looking for new and better ways for your learning programs to stay agile, be more efficient, and achieve better results, you owe it to yourself and your organization to understand how to leverage social media for learning. Visit ATD’s Social Media for Learning Certificate program description page to learn more about this useful, practical program.


About the Author

Mike Taylor is a community manager for Articulate. He has lifelong passion for learning, and more than 15 years of experience developing and deploying a wide variety of learning strategies and technologies. He holds an M.B.A. from Ohio University and a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from San Diego State University.

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